Upcycle Those Old CDs -- Craft Ideas for Creating with Kids
Crafting with old CDs or DVDs is a great way to have fun and teach children important lessons about protecting the environment without nagging them. The shiny disks provide a fun canvas for expressing creativity while taking care of the Earth.
Drink Coasters or Table Trivets
Allow children to paint the surface of a DVD with acrylic paints, paint pens or permanent markers. Glue felt or thin sheets of cork to the opposite side to make a coaster to protect your table when setting drinks or hot dishes on it. Another option is to glue magnetic strips to the back for a new style of functional refrigerator art.
Glue a length of ribbon between two CDs or DVDs, with the printed side of the disks together. Cut a special photograph about 1/2 to 1 inch smaller than the disk. Paint the CD with a mixture of equal parts craft glue and water, center the picture, and paint more of the glue mixture on top. Make several “framed” CD pictures, with different lengths of ribbon, and tie them to a dowel with the ribbon loops. Alternatively, punch holes around the edge of another CD or DVD, and hang the photo frames from those holes with ribbon.
Make a special gift for a grandparent, teacher or friend by upcycling that extra CD into a clock. Embellish the front with wooden cutouts, stickers, or other materials, add clockworks to the center, and your child has a fun reason for learning to tell time. Paint the CD black and add white numbers, apple cutouts or mini building blocks for a unique teacher gift. For a music teacher, paint a waving staff, complete with clefs and notes from a favorite song as the background before the hands and works.
Magic Mirror Mosaic
Break or cut several CDs or DVDs into small pieces, making sure to wear safety glasses while doing so. Allow children to glue the pieces to a painted wooden picture frame or to heavy cardboard, using a low-temperature glue gun to make a glitzy mosaic. Add a stained glass effect by squeezing black or silver paint in the spaces between disk pieces.
Turn those extra CDs or DVDs into a personal-sized scrapbook. Cover both sides of several disks with scrapbook paper. Arrange photographs, ephemera, beads, buttons or stickers to the CD “pages.” Punch a hole along the edge of each CD and thread them on several strands of different fibers or join them with a binder ring to hold the book together.
Older children can make bowls for collecting coins and “pocket treasure” at the end of the day, although this project probably needs a great deal of adult supervision. Place an ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet, bottom side up and coated with cooking spray, and lay a CD or DVD on top. Slide the sheet into a slow oven, preheated to about 250 degrees, and watch the disk drape itself over the bowl. When the new bowl cools, paint it with acrylic paints and embellish the outside with beads, feathers, fibers or buttons. Fill the bowl with potpourri, hair ornaments or coins. Do not use these bowls for food.